Amanda Richter-35 Under 35

35 Under 35 Class of 2018-19
Amanda is one of 35 professionals, age 35 and under, who is part of the Class of 2018-19. These 35 individuals are emerging leaders who are making a difference in school public relations.

Amanda Richter,
Vancouver (Wash.) Public Schools

What does leadership mean to you? 
Leadership should be dynamic. The best leaders I’ve observed know when to move to the front and when to support.

What was the most fulfilling professional moment you have experienced? 
I was fortunate to be part of a team that in 2017 passed a $458 million bond measure with an additional $93 million in state funds to rebuild or upgrade every school in the district, as well as build new ones. I’m grateful to work for an organization that receives such strong support from the community.

What are the most challenging and/or rewarding part about working in school PR?
School PR invites exploration. Every day is an opportunity to develop a new skill or sharpen an existing one. That I can do that on behalf of 24,000 students and among 3,000 dedicated professionals is a great privilege. 

What’s your favorite work app and personal app?
Google Drive is hardly the coolest kid in class, but it’s a workhorse. At the office, my co-workers and I use it to store templates and past messaging for a variety of unexpected situations and crises. When it’s imperative that we communicate quickly, we can draw from those resources and collaborate in real time as the event unfolds. 

What book has inspired you professionally? 
Right now I’m enjoying New Power. Authors Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms detail the shift away from old power, which functions like currency and is distributed vertically from an elite minority. New power acts like a current zipping horizontally from peer to peer. Spoiler alert: One does not always supplant the other and power is not a strict binary. It’s a great read for public relations practitioners as we compete for resources in an increasingly cluttered landscape. 

How has NSPRA and your state chapter guided you along the way? 
I’ve admired and learned from colleagues in Southwest Washington, the Washington and Oregon school public relations associations and NSPRA through a slate of meetings and conferences on emerging and timely issues. I also appreciate the ability to ask questions and get timely answers through WSPRA’s listserve and NSPRA Connect.

What is a recent communications/media campaign you enjoyed – either one of your own or one you saw nationally?
I’m late to the Fat Bear Week party, but the campaign is impressive in its earned media. And in our fractious sociopolitical landscape, something as simple as watching bears prepare for hibernation is a slice of unadulterated joy.

What emerging trends in school public relations get you excited? 
I’m encouraged by the widening equity lens applied with increasing frequency in education, though this is really neither emergent nor a trend. These efforts may not always adhere to the strictures of public relations by closely following the RACE process. However, they are PR in the truest sense of establishing strong, mutually beneficial relationships with stakeholders—all of them.